Palma.— “We need the Ports Authority to help us tackle the difficulties we are facing as a result of the recession so that we can make a proper contribution to the recovery of the Balearic economy,” Patrick Reynes, Chairman of the meeting which the Balearic Nautical Sports Association (Anade) held yesterday.

Anade believes that the recession has been prompted not only by a combination of the crisis facing both national and international governments, but also by specific regional policies which, Reynes claimed, “are damaging nautical tourism and adversely affecting those individuals and businesses who pay to use the facilities belonging to the Balearic Ports Authority. “And that will mean that the APB will also lose out,” said Reynes following his meeting with Jorge Martin, acting Director of the Ports Authority.

Yacht clubs in the Balearic Islands, said Reynes, are describing as “disastrous” the effect that the crisis combined with local government taxation is having on their activity.” Anade wants to see the Ports Authority face the difficulties of the nautical industry head on by “both freezing and reducing” taxes on moorings and the use of port installations.

Anade also wants to see the APB be more flexible over the financial demands it makes on its users - those struggling to pay would like to have some instalment arrangements made in order for them to catch up on what they owe, and not to have interest charged on late payments.

Anade say that it is only fair that the APB should notify nautical clubs and marina users at least a month in advance of any increases in costs of electricity and water.

The Association explained that one of the consequences of people being unable to pay their bills at the marinas and clubs is an increasing amount of abandoned vessels. “It's going to be very difficult to do anything to stop the decline if the demands that the Ports Authority are making keep going up,” remarked Reynes.

Part of the proposals which the Association put to the Ports Authority at the meeting included a plan to collect and recycle those vessels which have been abandoned, similar to the scheme applied some years ago to dumped vehicles.